Koalas Released Back into the Wild After Rescue from Blue Mountains Bushfires

Four koalas (and one new joey!) that are representatives of a critically important and nationally significant population have returned to the Blue Mountains in Australia. The first four of 12 koalas rescued from approaching bushfires were reintroduced back into the eucalyptus forests today by Science for Wildlife and the support of San Diego Zoo Global. The koalas had been sheltered in safety at the Taronga Zoo until the area was deemed safe for their return after the devastating mega-fire that moved through the area in January.

“While they have coped well in care we are delighted to finally send our koalas home” said Dr. Kellie Leigh, Executive Director of Science for Wildlife. “We have been busy assessing the burnt area that we rescued them from, to establish when the conditions have improved enough that the trees can support them again. The recent rains have helped and there is now plenty of new growth for them to eat, so the time is right. We will be radio-tracking them and keeping a close eye on them to make sure that they settle in ok.”

The research team discovered that the Blue Mountains World Heritage Region is home to the most genetically diverse population of koalas in the world, and Science for Wildlife, along with San Diego Zoo Global, is committing resources to help ensure that the population is recovered. Mega-fires raced through the region over the last few weeks, devastating more than 2.5 million acres (1 million hectares) of habitat and threatening wildlife.

San Diego Zoo Global has been a core partner for the Blue Mountains Koala Project since it started 5 years ago, and have been raising funds to support the rescue and other emergency wildlife work that Kellie and her team have been undertaking “Successful conservation work to save species requires working collaboratively in regions all over the world, supporting partners in a variety of ways,” said Paul Baribault, President and CEO of San Diego Zoo Global.  “This is a crucial time for Australian wildlife and we are proud that our long-standing relationship made it possible for us to save these koalas.”

“During the massive fires, as 80% of the World Heritage Area burnt, we were at risk of losing the entire koala population at this site and so that’s what drove us to try something so radical and pull these koalas out before the fire hit.”  Said Dr. Leigh

The reintroduction of the koalas is just the next stage in what conservationists know will be a long-term effort to recover koala populations in the area.

“There is still a lot of work to be done to assess what is left of koalas in this region and plan for population recovery.”  said Jen Tobey, Population Sustainability researcher, San Diego Zoo Global. “We are dedicated to continuing to support this critical work to conserve a significant koala population.”

The release back into the bush is just the beginning of the story for these koalas. “The radio-tracking devices that enabled us to find the koalas quickly and move them from in front of the fire will now allow us to follow them and find out more about how koalas use the landscape after fire” said Dr. Leigh. “including where else we might find pockets of surviving koalas. That will help us to plan a future for koalas under climate change, where we expect more frequent and intense fires”

“Due to the extensive experience and expertise of our keepers and veterinary staff, Taronga is best placed to assist in emergency situations when animals, like these 12 koalas, need emergency housing and care,” says Nick Boyle, Taronga’s Director of Welfare, Conservation and Science. “We were so pleased to be able to assist Science for Wildlife on their mission to save these incredibly valuable koalas. Taronga is committed to ensuring the survival of koalas in Australia. During the bushfire and drought crisis of the 2019/20 summer our vets and vet nurses treated more than 100 koalas across our two hospitals and in the field. Whilst we still have a number of koalas being cared for at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, our attention is also turning to the long-term recovery of koalas in the wild.”

Source: Science For Wildlife

Qantas group outlines customer and employee impact of coronavirus-related network cuts

The Qantas Group has outlined the customer and employee impact of a huge drop in travel demand triggered by the public health response to the Coronavirus crisis.

Earlier this week, cuts to 90 per cent of international flying and about 60 per cent of domestic flying were announced by Qantas and Jetstar. With the Federal Government now recommending against all overseas travel from Australia, regularly scheduled international flights will continue until late March to assist with repatriation and will then be suspended until at least the end of May 2020. As the national carrier, Qantas is in ongoing discussions with the Federal Government about continuation of some strategic links.

More than 150 aircraft will be temporarily grounded, including all of Qantas’ A380s, 747s and B787-9s and Jetstar’s B787-8s.  Discussions are progressing with airports and government about parking for these aircraft.

Essential domestic, regional and freight connections will be maintained as much as possible.

Qantas’ fleet of freighters will continue to be fully utilised. Some domestic passenger aircraft will also be used for freight-only flights to replace lost capacity from regular scheduled services. There is no impact on Qantas Loyalty’s operations.

  • All regularly scheduled Qantas and Jetstar international flights from Australia will be suspended from end March until at least end May 2020. Some flights may continue in order to maintain key links, based on ongoing discussions with the Federal Government.
  • Jetstar Asia (Singapore) will suspend all flights from 23 March to at least 15 April 2020.
  • Jetstar Japan has suspended international flights and cut domestic flying.
  • Jetstar Pacific (Vietnam) has suspended international flights and will significantly cut domestic flying.

The Group will maintain connectivity to almost all Australian domestic and regional destinations that Qantas, QantasLink and Jetstar currently operate to. The 60 per cent reduction in capacity will come mostly from a significant reduction in flight frequency, but also route suspensions and postponing a number of new route launches.

Comments from Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce:

“The efforts to contain the spread of Coronavirus have led to a huge drop in travel demand, the likes of which we have never seen before. This is having a devastating impact on all airlines.

“We’re in a strong financial position right now, but our wages bill is more than $4 billion a year. With the huge drop in revenue we’re facing, we have to make difficult decisions to guarantee the future of the national carrier.

“The reality is we’ll have 150 aircraft on the ground and sadly there’s no work for most of our people. Rather than lose these highly skilled employees who we’ll need when this crisis passes, we are instead standing down two-thirds of our 30,000 employees until at least the end of May.”

“Most of our people will be using various types of paid leave during this time, and we’ll have a number of support options in place. We’re also talking to our partners like Woolworths about temporary job opportunities for our people.”

Source: Qantas

CAMPARI sponsors Biennale of Sydney 2020, Launches NEW CampariSoda

Campari has announced that the iconic Italian aperitivo will be an Official Partner of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney. The sponsorship of Australia’s most significant cultural event in 2020 is the continuation of Campari’s long-standing collaboration with the creative community, cementing the brand as a patron of the arts by supporting emerging artists and nurturing creative ideas.

From 14 March to 8 June 2020, a unique experience invites visitors to step inside a Campari-inspired art installation: The Galleria Campari on Cockatoo Island.

Designed in partnership with Biennale artists Eric Bridgeman and Bhenji Ra, visitors will be immersed in this creative space as they explore the art of Campari and Biennale artwork installations and where they can enjoy a refreshing Campari aperitivo.

During the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, the Galleria Campari will host a range of exciting events including the 4E Sydney Hip Hop Festival, Negroni Week and other special Campari Events.

As an extension of Campari’s commitment to championing creativity, an initiative will kick-off on 4 April 2020 that will transform a series of empty storefronts and abandoned buildings in Sydney into creative and inspiring public spaces.

In collaboration with Biennale artists Eric Bridgeman, Brian Fuata, Bhenji Ra and Gina Athena Ulysse, Campari will curate these spaces and host live performances to share art with the people of Sydney and inspire creativity in their everyday lives.

“The 22nd Biennale is an Artist-led endeavour and the distinguished partnership with Campari showcases the unique aperitif inspiring Artist from NIRIN with newly commissioned work by Eric Bridgeman, Bhenji Ra, Brian Fuata and Gina Athena Ulysse. Curiosity feeds creativity and the works will be exhibited at Galleria Campari and amplified through a non-tradition outdoor campaign. Together we are championing creativity through 87 days of the Biennale.” says Barbara Moore, Chief
Executive Officer of the Biennale of Sydney.

Nicole Stanners, Marketing Director of Campari Australia notes “Campari is ecstatic to align with the Biennale as a leading platform for art and creativity in Sydney. Campari has always been an innovative brand, one that fosters new trends and inspires creativity. The alignment with the Biennale of Sydney signifies our ongoing commitment to the arts and creative community. We are very excited to see our
brand come to life across the exhibition!”

Coinciding with the start of the Biennale of Sydney, Campari will officially launch CampariSoda, the original single-serve aperitvo at the Galleria Campari on Cockatoo Island. CampariSoda was created in 1932 and is considered the first pre-batched carbonated cocktail in the world. The timeless CampariSoda, with its refreshing and inimitable taste, has always been presented in its distinctive conical-shaped bottle that was originally designed by Futurist artist Fortunato Depero. The unmistakable flavour and the striking red colour of the drink, as well as the shape and texture of the bottle has made CampariSoda an icon of the Italian aperitivo.

Source: Campari

Fashion week cancelled

Australia’s premier fashion event, slated for early May at Sydney’s Carriageworks, has been cancelled.

Following a slew of cancellations of major events locally and all over the world, the major Australian event that showcases our fashion industry to the world has taken the same path.

Natalie Xenita, Executive Director of IMG’s fashion events group for the Asia-Pacific region, commented:

“Due to the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC)’s mandate against holding non-essential, organised public gatherings of more than 500 people in light of global health concerns regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus), we regret to share that Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 2020 will not take place.”

“We thank our incredible designers, producers, partners and staff for their support of the Australian fashion community and look forward to celebrating our 25th anniversary in 2021.”

The event also attracts a tribe on global fashion buyers, influencers, retailers and media.

There will be no postponement but instead total cancellation, the next fashion week will not be happening until 2021.


Ms World & Ms Australia Pageant Director in Broome To Crown Indigenous 'Visible Farmer' National Finalist

Ms World 2018/19 and Ms Australia and New Zealand World 2020 national director, Robbie Canner was recently in Broome, Western Australia, to meet and crown Ms Australia World 2020 national finalist, Darrylin Gordon – an Indigenous farmer from Halls Creek in Western Australia’s Kimberley region, who came to prominence after her appearance in the Visible Farmer documentary series.

The Visible Farmer project put the spotlight on two pressing issues: gender equality and food security, both which are vital for the future of Australia.

The goal of the unique documentary series was to change perceptions and inspire new generations of women to help shape the future of Australia’s sustainable food production.

Robbie Canner is committed to ensuring the Ms Australia and New Zealand World is an inclusive pageant welcoming and embracing women from all walks of life.

“My aim is for all women of Australia and New Zealand to be represented in the World pageant,” said Ms Canner.

“I like what the pageant stands for and as an Aboriginal woman, I hope to be able to create understanding and awareness of the issues faced by our First Nations women whilst promoting reconciliation through my representation,” said Ms Gordon.

“The pageant platform provides a much greater audience where women from all over the country can come together and share our stories, our diversity and our passion that drives us to be the strong women we are, building a strong foundation to advocate for women from all walks of life.

“The cause I am most passionate about is advocating for social change for our First Nations people ‘Working together for a better future’.”

The ladies will also shoot the campaign for a new range of Indigenous print wetsuits by pageant major sponsor, HUNTMASTER – an innovative Australian brand specialising in wetsuits and products for spearfishers, divers and surfers.

Ms Australia and New Zealand World 2020 pageant entry form and pageant information can be found at this link: https://www.robbiecanner.com.au/ms-australia-new-zealand-world-2020

Source: Ms Australia and Ms New Zealand World